Hunterdon County Alimony Lawyers
Understanding Alimony Law in New Jersey
Especially in high net worth divorces, a large concern for every party involved is alimony, or what many call “spousal support”. This is the monthly payment given to one ex-spouse from the other for the things he or she needs to live. In many cases, this is calculated clearly by a set of guidelines established by the State of New Jersey, but different couples facing divorce sometimes require customized arrangements, and the laws have changed recently.
How Do New Jersey Courts Calculate Alimony?
When presented to the courts with the help of qualified family attorneys, the courts are forced to consider all possible factors that only affect each spouse’s way of life now, but how they may change in the near future.
The courts consider the following when making alimony arrangements:
- Income of both spouses
- Each spouse’s ability to earn a living
- How long a spouse has been out of the labor force to raise children
- How long the couple has been married
- If domestic violence was a factor in the divorce
- Each spouse’s faithfulness to the prenuptial agreement, if applicable
- Whether either of the two spouses have any health problems
- The level of comfort both spouses have become accustomed to over the course of the marriage
This, of course, only applies if the matter is contested and makes it to a family law courtroom, where a judgment is made. If the soon-to-be-ex-spouses are willing to make an arrangement, this can be made through mediation or a collaborative divorce. These options have been known to save thousands in court fees and attorney fees.
Changes in New Jersey Alimony Law
New Jersey Governor, Chis Christie signed a bill in 2014 that changed a few key aspects of how alimony works with divorcing couples. The changes were meant to make alimony more fair and establish accountability in both parties.
The following changes will affect alimony in current and future divorces in New Jersey:
- Alimony payers can apply to relieve themselves of their obligation at the age of retirement
- If an alimony payer becomes unemployed for 3 months, he or she can apply to reduce the payments
- For marriages lasting under 20 years, the length of the alimony will only be paid for as long as the marriage lasted. (example: alimony will only be paid for five years if the marriage lasted five years)
There are a number of ways our Whitehouse Station family law firm can help. Whether you are concerned you will be ordered to pay too much or that you will not receive enough, we can represent you with dedication and loyalty to your future well-being. We can also help if your ex-spouse is not honoring the agreement or judgment made in your divorce.